Spring Barley Soup with Green Garlic & Baby Fennel-Asparagus Salad

Spring Barley Soup

with Green Garlic & Baby Fennel-Asparagus Salad

Group Created with Sketch. 40 min
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  • icon-servings Created with Sketch.
    2 Servings
  • icon-nutrition Created with Sketch. Est. 530 Cals/serving

Fennel is generally regarded as a fall vegetable, but in spring, baby fennel (the young bulb of the plant) is considered a special treat. Tender with a more delicate and subtly anise-like flavor, it’s delightfully crunchy when raw, which is how you’ll use it here. Combined with ribbons of raw asparagus, parsley and lemon juice, it’s the perfect topping for this hearty springtime soup.

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Spring Barley Soup with Green Garlic & Baby Fennel-Asparagus Salad
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Cook the barley:
1 Cook the barley:

Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the barley and cook 18 to 20 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Drain thoroughly.

Prepare the ingredients:
2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the barley cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel the carrots and thinly slice into rounds. Pick off and reserve the fennel fronds. Cut off and discard the stems and root end of the fennel; thinly slice the bulb. Using a peeler, shave half the asparagus into ribbons; chop the remaining asparagus into ½-inch pieces. Cut off and discard the root end of the green garlic; thinly slice the green garlic. Cut off and discard the root end and upper, dark-green leaves of the leek; small dice and thoroughly rinse the leek. Using a peeler, remove the rind of the lemon, avoiding the pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

Start the soup:
3 Start the soup:

Once the barley has cooked for about 15 minutes, in a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the carrots, green garlic, leek and spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.

Make the broth & add the barley:
4 Make the broth & add the barley:

Add 3 cups of water to the pot of vegetables; season with salt and pepper. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the cooked barley and simmer, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until the liquid is slightly reduced in volume. (If desired, add up to an additional ½ cup of water to achieve your desired consistency.) Remove from heat.

Finish the soup & make the lemon crème fraîche:
5 Finish the soup & make the lemon crème fraîche:

Off the heat, stir the chopped asparagus, Parmesan cheese and the juice of 2 lemon wedges into the pot of soup; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside in a warm place. In a small bowl, combine the crème fraîche and lemon zest; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the salad & plate your dish:
6 Make the salad & plate your dish:

In a medium bowl, combine the shaved asparagus, fennel bulb and fronds, parsley and the juice of the remaining lemon wedges. Add a drizzle of olive oil and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished soup between 2 bowls. Top with the lemon crème fraîche and salad. Enjoy!

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Cook the barley:
1 Cook the barley:

Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the barley and cook 18 to 20 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Drain thoroughly.

2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the barley cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel the carrots and thinly slice into rounds. Pick off and reserve the fennel fronds. Cut off and discard the stems and root end of the fennel; thinly slice the bulb. Using a peeler, shave half the asparagus into ribbons; chop the remaining asparagus into ½-inch pieces. Cut off and discard the root end of the green garlic; thinly slice the green garlic. Cut off and discard the root end and upper, dark-green leaves of the leek; small dice and thoroughly rinse the leek. Using a peeler, remove the rind of the lemon, avoiding the pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

Prepare the ingredients:
Start the soup:
3 Start the soup:

Once the barley has cooked for about 15 minutes, in a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the carrots, green garlic, leek and spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.

4 Make the broth & add the barley:

Add 3 cups of water to the pot of vegetables; season with salt and pepper. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the cooked barley and simmer, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until the liquid is slightly reduced in volume. (If desired, add up to an additional ½ cup of water to achieve your desired consistency.) Remove from heat.

Make the broth & add the barley:
Finish the soup & make the lemon crème fraîche:
5 Finish the soup & make the lemon crème fraîche:

Off the heat, stir the chopped asparagus, Parmesan cheese and the juice of 2 lemon wedges into the pot of soup; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside in a warm place. In a small bowl, combine the crème fraîche and lemon zest; season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Make the salad & plate your dish:

In a medium bowl, combine the shaved asparagus, fennel bulb and fronds, parsley and the juice of the remaining lemon wedges. Add a drizzle of olive oil and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished soup between 2 bowls. Top with the lemon crème fraîche and salad. Enjoy!

Make the salad & plate your dish: